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How to Prove Your Truck Accident Injury Claim in NYC

You could be able to recover compensation from the responsible party if you or a loved one got injured in a truck accident. However, to recover compensatory damages, you need to be able to establish liability of the at-fault party. You also need to prove the accident was directly caused because of their actions.

Establishing Liability in NY Truck Accidents

It can be tricky to determine liability in a truck accident. In car accidents, the driver is generally the only person who is responsible for the crash. However, in truck accidents there can be multiple parties responsible for the accident. These can be:

  • Truck driver: The truck driver is liable for the accident if he was driving drunk or under the influence of drugs (including prescription pills). The same holds true if the driver was driving distracted or not following the rules.
  • Truck company: Trucking companies that force their operators to drive for more than 11 hours at a stretch or fail to screen the driver for drugs and alcohol. They can also be held responsible if they failed to check the driver’s medical fitness.
  • Loading company: The loading company can be held responsible if the crash was a result of cargo spilling out or shifting because of improper loading or securing.
  • Truck manufacturer: The manufacturer can be held responsible for compensatory damage if the accident was the result of a defective part.

Besides these, third-party logistics providers, repair and maintenance companies, freight brokers, weight station employees, and other parties can also be held liable for the truck accident.

Factors to Prove in Personal Injury Lawsuits

The plaintiff under the New York personal injury law is burdened with proving the following in a personal injury case:

  • That the accident took place
  • The accident took place because of the actions of the at-fault party
  • You suffered losses (financial or non-financial in nature) because of the accident

Establishing Liability in a Trucking Accident

You may assume that liability is determined once the at-fault party is determined. However, establishing liability is only half the battle won. The plaintiff before going to court needs to determine the way in the liable party is at-fault and exactly what happened.

“Vicarious liability” rule is another caveat that accompanies liability. According to vicarious liability rules, a party can be found at-fault even if they did not do anything to directly contribute to the accident. For instance, it is possible for the truck driver to be responsible for the accident directly, but not held liable for compensatory damage in the end.

The trucking company may be found indirectly responsible for the accident if it is found that they knew of the driver’s history with alcohol and drug offenses or general incompetence. The employer in this instance will be held responsible based on the fact that they knew about the driver’s incompetence and still hired them.

Liability is a tricky area in personal injury lawsuits and can become difficult to prove. This is why you require a top-rated truck accident attorney in New York by your side helping you.

At-fault party’s liability can be proved using the following information and documents:

  • Personnel file of the truck driver
  • Trucking company’s hiring and screening process
  • Black box data of the truck
  • Maintenance and inspection data of the truck
  • Fuel receipts
  • Hours of service logs
  • Tollbooth receipts
  • Bill of lading
  • Cell phone records
  • Police reports
  • Dashcam recordings
  • Surveillance footage

An experienced and reputed crash attorney in New York can conduct a detailed investigation into the events and circumstances leading up to the truck accident. They can gather the necessary information required for proving liability of the at-fault parties.

Calculating Compensatory Damages in a NY Truck Accident

The compensation in a personal injury case is calculated based on the damages incurred in the accident. These are a few records you would need to submit for proving the extent of damages suffered by you as a result of the accident:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical records
  • Medication receipts
  • Mobility aids receipts
  • Home-based care invoices
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Old paystubs
  • Estimate from a qualified contractor regarding the modifications required at your residence for accommodating your disability

Identifying At-Fault in NYC Truck Crashes

It’s natural for the driver of the truck to be assumed at fault in a truck accident. However, it is not always the truck driver’s fault. The truck driver may just be the last person in a long line of people and entities handling the truck. The loaders can also be responsible for the truck crash.

For instance, the trucking company can be held responsible when they did not inspect the truck properly or fix a problem with it that they knew needed to be fixed. It’s also possible that the people responsible for loading and securing the cargo failed to do their job properly. Sometimes, the manufacturers of the truck do not install lights, brakes, and other crucial safety elements in the truck properly.

Any of the above-mentioned parties can be responsible for the truck crash. This is true even if the collision takes place afterward when the truck driver is driving responsibly and using proper caution. If you are uninjured in a truck accident, it’s necessary to identify every single business entity and individual that could be responsible.

This is vital in case the lawsuit goes to trial. Sometimes, unnamed individuals cannot be held responsible since a lot of time has already passed. They may end up escaping liability in such a situation. The entire case may be hurt if the unnamed individuals are found to be at-fault. The lawsuit can also get thrown out of court because the responsible parties are not listed in it.

It can be tricky to determine who is at fault. This is especially true for people that are unaccustomed to dealing with truck drivers and their employing companies. This makes it important to get in touch with a professional and experienced personal injury attorney who has the necessary skills to find the at-fault party.

Company vs. Driver Liability in a NY Commercial Truck Accident

It can be difficult to know who is at-fault in a trucking accident. You need knowledgeable and skilled lawyers to dig deep for determining potential defendants in a commercial trucking accident lawsuit. You need an attorney that has a thorough understanding of both cargo violations and federal trucking regulations. This can allow them to pinpoint all potential sources of liability.

In most truck accidents, driver negligence or operator error is the main cause of the accident. However, in such cases, the trucking company ends up being sued. This is because of employers are held accountable for their employee’s actions based on the legal doctrine of respondent superior.

Generally, trucking companies tend to skirt liability by showing their drivers as independent contractors. This allows the companies to avoid costly insurance payouts and liabilities. The independent contractor defense, which was one of the most common defenses used by trucking companies is now banished by recent legislation.

The distinction between an independent contractor and an employee was removed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. All truck drivers are now regarded as statutory employees of truck companies legally regardless of their nature of employment.

Trucking companies under the present federal law are responsible for accident-related expenses when any member of the public gets injured by a leased commercial motor vehicle due to driver negligence. You should note that in New York State, contradictory laws are preempted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) where truck accident liability is concerned.

Protecting Accident Victims Against Legal Departments and Insurers

Multi-million dollar insurance companies and large legal departments back nearly every trucking company in the US. These companies have aggressive lawyers protecting their bottom line at the cost of an accident victim.

Bullying and aggressive behavior is highly common. The companies also hound victims for damaging information or delay/ignore their claims requests. In some cases, the companies may deny the claim outright. Unfortunately, your insurance company may end up doing the same to you.

Your own insurance company is concerned with their bottom line and they may ignore, deny, or delay your rightful claim to compensation. This is one of the top reasons for not fighting your claim alone. You should consider hiring an experienced truck accident lawyer to take over discussions with your insurance company.

You should save yourself the headache and forward all calls to your lawyer. Make sure to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you were involved in a trucking accident. Trucking companies are infamous for denying claims or short-selling victims.

Seek Legal Counsel from an Accomplished NY Truck Accident Attorney

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can help you if you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident. We are known for providing high-level aggressive legal representation to victims of truck accidents in New York City. You can count on us to investigate all underlying factors leading to an accident. We can identify negligent parties whose actions caused the accident.

Schedule a free consultation today by calling at 1-800-660-2264 or using our online form.

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New York, NY 10168

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8900 Sutphin Blvd Suite 501
Queens, NY 11435

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Tel: (212) 344-1000

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